Background

The TB Europe Coalition (TBEC) is an advocacy network that brings together civil society representatives (individuals and organisations) across the World Health Organization (WHO) European Region, in order to strengthen the role of civil society within the regional response to Tuberculosis (TB), to raise awareness of the disease, and to increase the political and financial commitment required to effectively control the TB epidemic in region. The geographic reach of the network includes EU/EEA countries, Eastern Europe and other neighbouring countries, Central Asia and the Russian Federation.

TBEC was formed in 2009 by a group of TB activists from the WHO European Region as a response to address two major concerns. First, the spread of resistant forms of TB (Multi-Drug Resistant TB and Extremely Drug-Resistant TB) in several countries of the European Region and the concentration of about a quarter of the global burden in the region. Eastern Europe and Central Asia, in particular, had (and continue to have) the world’s highest rates of new TB patients with MDR-TB. Second, high-rates of MDR-TB were coupled with low awareness among general population and policy-makers about this problem. This was especially due to a scarce number of civil society organisations working on TB in the region and almost none capable of advocating for TB at national or regional level. With these concerns in mind, TBEC was formed to bring together national organisations and individuals capable of raising awareness about TB and advocate for bolder policies to fight this disease at all levels.

Vision

TBEC’s vision is a world without tuberculosis. In the immediate term, TBEC envisions the prioritisation of an effective response to the TB epidemic in the region, through:

  • A strong social response to the epidemic via the involvement and empowerment of affected communities and civil society organisations in TB prevention, care and control.
  • Increased political will to control the disease across the entire region;
  • Sufficient investment in research and development (R&D) to develop new and improved, safe and effective, accessible and affordable vaccines, diagnostics, drugs and regimens for TB and multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB);
  • Adequate levels of investment in and the effective implementation of policies and programmes that prevent the spread of disease, successfully integrate TB and HIV diagnosis and treatment to prevent co-infection, provide equal access to treatment, care, with affected communities at the heart of the disease response.

Mission

TBEC’s mission is to strengthen the role and contribution of civil society organisations (CSOs) and affected communities within a sustainable and effective response to TB across in the region by:

  • Providing a coordinating body that unites TB advocates across the region, in order to disseminate information, promote collaboration and learning, and share best practice;
  • Building the advocacy capacity and coordinate the strategies of TB advocates and CSOs across the region;
  • Leveraging the political and financial commitment necessary to eliminate TB in the WHO European Region and worldwide.

Strategic Targets

Policy, programme development and implementation

Research and New Tools

Civil society participation

  • Facilitate practical opportunities for civil society, including patients themselves, to participate in decision making regarding TB resources, policy and programming by including civil society and patient networks in all national planning, assessment, monitoring and evaluation processes.

Community-based treatment and support

  • Through community strengthening and by seeking broader community input, ensure all TB patients, including the most marginalised in society, are able to access treatment that respects their human rights and ensures treatment success;
  • Promote rights and responsibilities as described in ‘The Patients’ Charter for Tuberculosis Care’ to people with HIV and other communities who are disproportionately impacted by TB.